Staff Spotlight: Sara AKA Piyo

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Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Sara, also known as Piyo. Sara wears a lot of hats around Habitica, but is best known for her design work on the mobile apps!

Sara, how did you get involved with Habitica?

I came about Habitica in a rather roundabout way! My friend linked me to a social media post from the Habitica accounts seeking a mobile designer. I thought, “Hey, thats me! Gamified tasks sounds neat, I should check this out.” I was about 2 years out of college at the time and had worked on gamified educational tools as my thesis, so an opportunity to work on a gamification product for work sounded amazing. So in the end, I actually started using Habitica at the same time I applied to work for them!

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

Probably the giant rebrand endeavor, including drawing the beloved Melior logo. It was the first thing I did even though I was brought on to work on the mobile apps. The great renaming was already in the works and I felt that the Habitica brand could become something really special. So I proposed we start with a rebrand that we could then apply the the mobile apps. This was so long ago, there was no official native android app yet! I drew probably 50+ logo concepts then narrowed it down to a few directions with the help of Lemoness and redphoenix, until we landed on the gryphon. However, we didn’t just want any gryphon, we wanted something that synthesized the mood and spirit of Habitica. It was pretty late in the process when I turned the tail tuft into a pixel graphic, but that was the final detail that sealed the deal and brought you the logo you see today.

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What are your secret superpowers?

I consider myself a pro at laying on my couch to do the majority of my work. Most people work at desks or at least sitting up. But I take the opposite approach of the standing desk movement and choose to lay on my side for the work day. All of my best work is done laying down, preferably in a onesie. I’m convinced I must have a super-human spine since it’s just fine with this.

What are your secret weaknesses?
‘Buy 1 Get 1’ sales. I like to think that I’m a semi-frugal person in most areas, but these get me every time. Look, I don’t *need* two cakes (I probably didn’t even need the first one), but if I get one free for buying one… there’s no way I’m not taking home a free cake.

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What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

I really like the phoenix and baby gryphon pet. I just think they’re neat.

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What are some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

I like tracking things that are reoccurring on different schedules and are hard to keep track of, like watering my plants or what days to do different parts of my skincare routine. Dailies are my jam, but I spend all my time in the Inn because I personally don’t like being punished for missing things, just rewarded for doing them. (Also because it made my glasses-wearing character look like they were wearing sweet sunglasses when sleeping before I got actual sunglasses to equip).

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love playing games, watching twitch, cooking, and baking! Browsing food blogs is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ll watch any baking competition show you throw in front of me. I’ve watched so much Chopped that I can convincingly take random ingredients and come up with a dish idea from them.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

Don’t be afraid to use the Inn! And try clearing out your task board every now and then to give yourself a fresh start. Life changes, so your tasks and goals do too. Making sure the tasks you track stay relevant has helped me a lot.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

I don’t speak too much, but I often scroll through Tavern to see what people are saying. I look and gauge what questions people have to figure out where they’re getting confused. Then I take that and think about how we might be able to prevent that confusion with slight improvements to their experience. Its a nice, casual, direct line to some feedback.

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Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:

Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness
Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA Paglias
Spotlight on Phillip AKA viirus

Spotlight on Beth AKA Beffymaroo

Use Case Spotlight: Sleep and Rest

Illustration by Aries Fairies
Illustration by Hachiseiko

Habiticans! Are you remembering to keep time in your busy busy schedules for a little rest and recuperation? This month’s Use Case Spotlight is all about that and how to make it part of your Habitica set-up. You can’t be productive if you don’t also have adequate rest, so it’s really important that you remember to take care of that side of your life as well.

User nitronova starts us off with their great idea for a customized Habitica experience: their very own sub-class!

Hi, Habitica. I am someone who struggles with doing daily tasks due to depression. I’m in love with stealth games but also enjoy healing myself and others. What I decided to do was employ the use of the Fix Character Values to give myself a sub-class that I call the “Street Doctor!”

[…]

The use case I want to spotlight is the “Shadowstep” power. Sometimes, I have to check into the tavern to recover. This causes me to lose my streak and miss my dailies for yesterday. To help motivate me to take care of those responsibilities when I do recover, I give myself a reward in gold for completing them the next day. It’s themed around darting into the shadows and delivering a stealthy hit to my tasks and I love the imagery as I’m doing things like my weekly laundry. This way, I stay on top of my chores and self-care while thinking of my self-care as an opportunity or a superpower, rather than a cost or a burden. To balance all the additional gold-earning powers I have, I use the Fix Character Values power to make my healing powers more costly in terms of mana or even my own HP. It feels riskier, which makes me more invested in sticking to the game.

Zelah Meyer has a simpler set-up reminding them to get to bed on time (with appropriate punishments and rewards)!

Regarding the ‘Healthy Habits for Sleep and Rest’ – I have a positive/negative habit for whether I was in bed by my target time the previous night. I try to be in bed by 11:30pm if I have to get up early the next day & Midnight if I have a lie-in. I click either the + or the – for whether or not I made it, and add extra clicks for every half hour that I was either early or late to bed!

Shutzie27 has a nice idea for using Habitica as part of their sleep hygiene routine:

So for me, sleep hygiene is its own category under Habits. Part of the routine is “tucking in” my avatar (I switch to a night background and sleepwear, except during the Fall Solstice, when she gets into costume) which signals the end of my screen time for the day, so I actually tick the habits first thing in the morning when I wake up my avatar.

There are other suggestions in the guild, and plenty more opportunities to share your own experiences! Check out the Use Case Spotlights Guild to add your input, and if you share something for the next topic, you might even be featured in next month’s post! There’s also a Guild Spotlight to help you look for further ideas on how to take care of yourself.

Taking a Break: Guild Spotlight

Illustration by Aries Fairies
Illustration by Hachiseiko

Habitica is often all about productivity and completing just one more task, but there’s an important place for a healthy lifestyle as well, and that includes taking a break when you need it! Here are a selection of Guilds that just might help you with that.

Early to Bed and Early to RiseThis guild focuses on all aspects of sleep hygiene, and hosts challenges to help you incorporate healthy sleep into your routine. Check out the discussion in the Guild too!

Live Life to the Fullest With MindfulnessThis guild is all about using mindfulness to enhance your daily life, with all kinds of impact on healthy sleep, getting a break from the daily grind, and improving your mood overall.

Be Kind to Yourself GuildSleep is important, but it isn’t the only way to take a break from the daily grind. The Be Kind To Yourself Guild is all about self-care and ensuring you stay healthy in everything you do.

Don’t forget, there’s also a Use Case Spotlight post to tell you about how other users incorporate rest and sleep into their Habitica schedules!

The Mage’s Tower

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Illustration by Vampitch


It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from 
the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

The Mage’s Tower is the repository of all sorts of wisdom, from Class-specific guides to how to get the most out of Habitica to guides on how to make Habitica even harder. There are guides from many different contributors with all kinds of different approaches to setting up their tasks and taking on bosses. As the article itself says:

The Magi have always been mysterious folks. Centuries of research and attunement have revealed Tips & Tricks to cope in the world of Habitica.

This is a place to share your general productivity tips as well as to present ways you have customized your version of Habitica.

Check out the full page here to see all the different tips and tricks you can access!